Friday, November 30, 2012

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Touch of Power (Healer, #1)
Good Reads Summary
Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life...


My Thoughts
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

This is my second go at this and I still enjoyed it (mind you, I didn’t love love love it.) Anyway, this time around the one most notable for me isn’t heroic girl who’s always finding herself in trouble, or the stoic good guy who acts like a bad guy half the time, or it’s even the merry band of men the two of them are leading. Rather it’s the baddy, Tohon! This guy still ranks among the creepiest baddies I’ve read in a long while~ all suave and confident that his way is right, made even more interesting (creepy, actually) given his particular brand of touch magic.

So why the bad guy and not the rest of them? Well, if you were to take away their particular brand of special, there really isn’t much to them. Not much save that she’s a good girl trying to do the right thing, and he’s a good guy trying to do a great thing… and the rest of them are following along.

Now, it’s the touch of magic in this one (pun!) that I enjoyed most though for the life of me I still fell like I’ve come across something similar to it already. That said, what made them special is special, indeed. They heal, they control life, they control death then there are others who rule over some aspect of the elements.

Then all that? All that’staking place in world ripped apart by a plague with more than one insane “leader” fighting over what’s left of the fifteen realms, so pulled in I truly was. And it’s in that setting that she’s plagued (geez! puns left and right!) with questions as to who’s the bad guys and who are the allies then finding herself wrong on her assessment of either.

A Touch of Power is fun and given the sarcastic bent of a couple of the leads in this one, reading of their adventures was an easy. though perhaps it’s the lack of something more to all of them that made reading this so very very easy. I was glad for a couple of surprises that came out of nowhere, including the death of close ones and something that rhymes with the rombies.

(Yes, that last bit took me totally by surprise.)



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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1) by Kasie West

Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1)
Good Reads Summary
Pivot Point by Kasie West

Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . .

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.


My Thoughts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What I liked most: it’s funny without trying too hard and that’s in both versions of her life.
Another thing to love: they’re each more than you expect them to be… though for a couple of them that’s in the negative, because true colors indeed  do shine through.
And finally, that Sliding Doors comparison? Totally apt.

As to the first, it doesn’t take itself too seriously… or more likely she doesn’t take herself too seriously. The way she deals with what’s dealt her is completely typical… and that’s precisely how she wants it! Her Child of Divorce 101 made her sound almost too young in expecting certain things to happen a certain way, but that was fine too because it was good for a laugh if anything. Except considering who she is and where she is and what she could do, nothing was ever boring. 

She’s authentically funny. A feat that’s quite a surprise considering the girl is living two lives and has to pick one…but just doesn’t know it.  And as she’s living those two things she keeps consistent… sometimes clueless, sometime s too eager to make others happy, but overall likeable. Sure, there are eventual asides on things maybe not being real but prior to that it was all good. Truth: I’d rather have had things run their course ala Sliding Doors with no one the wiser of other things maybe happening, but I enjoyed this story making my complaints minor at best (worst?)

Fun stuff!


  “The other thing that surprises me is how gorgeous he is until he’s next to me again. If he’s going to start coming around more, I need to find some flaws to focus on. I study him for a moment but come up empty. He’s flawless. Not even a zit. New strategy. I will not look at him.”

***

“Superheroes have to have tight outfits so their clothes don’t get in the way when theyre fighting crime.” He adds an A on the chest.
“I go by my real name? I don’t even get a secret identity?”
“How do you know A stands for Addison? Maybe it’s for Amender or Ax Maiden or Apple Thrower?”
“Apple Thrower?”
“I couldn’t think of any more A names.”



Thanks Edelweiss!
4/5





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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea M. Cameron

My Favorite Mistake
Good Reads Summary
My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea M. Cameron

Taylor Caldwell can't decide if she wants to kiss her new college roommate or punch him.

On the one hand, Hunter Zaccadelli is a handsome, blue-eyed bundle of charm. On the other, he's a tattooed, guitar-playing bundle of bad boy. Maybe that's why Taylor's afraid of falling in love with him, or anyone else. She doesn't want to get burned, and even though her other roommates adore him, she wants him gone before it's too late.

Hunter himself has been been burned before, but the fact that Taylor calls him out on his crap and has the sexiest laugh ever make him decide maybe love isn't a lost cause. They make a bet: if she can convince him she truly loves or hates him, he'll leave the apartment--and leave her alone. The problem is, the more time they spend together, the less she hates him, and the more she moves toward love.

But when the man who holds the key to Taylor's fear of giving up her heart resurfaces and threatens to wreck everything, she has to decide: trust Hunter with her greatest secret, or do everything in her power to win that bet and drive him away forever.


My Thoughts
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

"You love me?" he asks her.
"No," she responds
"You hate me?" he then asks.
"I likely do," would be me responding in her place.

Meh.

I mean, truthfully it was fun when it counted; otherwise, it was a bit lot of nothing much. She's sensitive and damaged and has a history she's not dealing with as does the guy. Where she's prickly and tough girl, he's sad sad sad but putting on a front: an ass hole jerkface front that rightfully rubbed her the wrong way the first time they laid eyes on each other. Only later we find out they can't in fact get enough of each other! It's that last fact that led me to discover that the phrase "eye fucking" can indeed be overused!

I didn't get the convoluted bet thing going on. You hate me this happens and you love me that happens. All her denying true feelings then all his running away from his past... I'd have bought it with half that drama cut out of the story, but again my issue of drama. drama. drama surfaced in this one.

Bottom line? I didn't really care for this. Oh "New Adult Contemporary Romance," there's nothing "adult" about you... and if all you have is stuff like MY FAVORITE MISTAKE and other stuff like this that I've read so far then should am I just looking forward to more whiny face-this and mopey thought-that, people who talk a good game filled to the brim with angsty me, myself and I moments, and yes, more often than not "edgy" cuss filled (sometimes unnecessarily so) lingo, and too little sense to go around?





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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fate's Edge by Ilona Andrews

Fate's Edge (The Edge, #3)
Good Reads Summary
Fate's Edge by Ilona Andrews

Audrey Callahan left behind her life in the Edge, and she's determined to stay on the straight and narrow. But when her brother gets into hot water, the former thief takes on one last heist and finds herself matching wits with a jack of all trades...

Kaldar Mar-a gambler, lawyer, thief, and spy-expects his latest assignment tracking down a stolen item to be a piece of cake, until Audrey shows up. But when the item falls into the hands of a lethal criminal, Kaldar realizes that in order to finish the job, he's going to need Audrey's help..


My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A three seems stingy of me, but the truth be told: it simply took forever to get interesting. Once things did get to that point, I was thrilled: thrilled to be reading a little more about George and Jack, BUT mainly thrilled to be reading about heroes who are not quite heroes in both Kaldar and Audrey. Plus just when I thought things over, I was proved wrong.

We'd already run across Kaldar in the second Edge book. A little of what he was seeped through so that I was left with an impression of him being up to no good (at least where his family WASN'T concerned.) Things having happened the way they did in Bayou's Edge, it's obvious that a lot of things had changed, but the man's still irreverent, a rake, and a rogue. Notice, I'm straining myself here to come up with other Regency-romance terms that fit just how entertaining an asshole he could get. And Audrey knows all these things (that he's indeed an ass!) But goes on with him anyway... because while she may be trying to do the right thing she knows how things are from his side of things.

This was fun... eventually ... but it was a wait that (sorely) tested my patience. Also I wonder if I'm alone in wanting to know more of what's in store for George and Jack.


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Monday, November 26, 2012

While He Was Away by Karen Schreck

While He Was Away
Goodreads Summary
While He Was Away by Karen Schreck

One year--he'll be gone for one year and then we'll be together again and everything will be back to the way it should be.

The day David left, I felt like my heart was breaking. Sure, any long-distance relationship is tough, but David was going to war--to fight, to protect, to put his life in danger. We can get through this, though. We'll talk, we'll email, we won't let anything come between us.

I can be an army girlfriend for one year. But will my sweet, soulful, funny David be the same person when he comes home? Will I? And what if he doesn't come home at all?...


My Thoughts
My rating: 3.75 of 5 stars

Don’t let the pastel colored sunset fool you into thinking this is a love conquers all thing. This is not just some sweet love story of a couple seeing things through to their happily ever after.
  IT’S BETTER THAN THAT.
Mainly because it’s more real but more importantly less dramatic about the goings on.

There’s no closely held dark secret to discover; there’s no big mystery to solve… here it’s more on learning to hold on. But, instead of holding on to each other, it’s really about holding on to yourself. Sure there are other key moments of certain people moving on, letting go, and then making things right… but all of it leads to her not forgetting herself.

From the start one sees where things might go wrong: with the one left behind wrapping her life around the one who’s not there. She’s not really present merely just waiting for the next time he’s in the picture. For a good long while that is exactly what happens until more and more people come into focus.

Like her mother who has her own issues to deal with. She reads tough and no nonsense but has this big hurt she’s not hiding but can’t get away from. Like those people from the past, people whom she knew nothing about, but people she’d come close to and feel connected with for some odd reason or another. Or like all those other “new” people who make their presence felt in her life, so felt that the story no longer is just about David being elsewhere. So that’s what this becomes: it’s not just about the love of your life (love of her life?)

It’s about life moving on
…and her moving on with it.


But things could get slow and frustrating, especially how quickly (slowly) those realization came to her, that their each their own person, that they’re necessarily this something “big” she’d describe them to be.  That she’s a life of her own. That he’s a life of his own, too … and that both their lives indeed move forward. So if at first she folds in on herself and doesn’t quite know where to pick up again, things still march on anyway… and so does she

(I do feel this was better than both If I Lie and Personal Effects)



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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Noughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses, #1) by Malorie Blackman

Noughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses, #1)
Good Reads Summary
Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Two young people are forced to make a stand in this thought-provoking look at racism and prejudice in an alternate society.

Sephy is a Cross -- a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. Callum is a Nought -- a “colourless” member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood, but that’s as far as it can go. In their world, Noughts and Crosses simply don’t mix. Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum -- a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger. Can they possibly find a way to be together?

In this gripping, stimulating and totally absorbing novel, black and white are right and wrong.


My Thoughts
My rating: An almost 4 of 5 stars

Do I dare read the next one? Considering this one’s already got my emotions swinging from one extreme to another? That ending…that endingTHAT ENDING!! has me split between:



and then



One has got to appreciate witnessing the change in the two involved: she’s sweet and sunshine and optimistic; he’s not… ‘til they’re neither of those things anymore because of the honestly laid out way they each open their eyes (have their eyes opened?) then  grow into people you don’t expect them to be.

And oh my poor heart, but several times through the course of the story, I had to put the book down thinking something was coming their way, dreading and knowing that this big thing was coming right around the corner… so that when something else –equally unexpected- took place, I wasn’t sure if I ought to feel relieved, giddy or disappointed. Gah! The things this book did to my emotions. My EMOTIONS!

So this is brilliantly told tale of two people on opposite sides of everything with its sweet start but slow and painful realizations for the two.  When one or the other or both of them began questioning what’s right and what’s acceptable, there’s a loosening of feelings wound taut in me because things seemed to be going the way I thought things ought to go ‘till other things happen and I’m back to zero with my emotions all riled up.

They face ugly truths, grow up and do things they feel right, so things got heavy and I put it down (more than once) but couldn’t NOT pick it back up again. See it’s because this one’s got a lot of hard, ugly truths as well as an outcome that’s simply unbelievable.

Were I rating that ending alone, it’d be an easy 5/5, but overall it’s:

3.75-4/5




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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sanctum by Sarah Fine

Sanctum (Guards of the Shadowlands, #1)
Good Reads Summary
Sanctum by Sarah Fine

“My plan: Get into the city. Get Nadia. Find a way out. Simple.”

A week ago, seventeen-year-old Lela Santos’s best friend, Nadia, killed herself. Today, thanks to a farewell ritual gone awry, Lela is standing in paradise, looking upon a vast gated city in the distance—hell. No one willingly walks through the Suicide Gates, into a place smothered in darkness and infested with depraved creatures. But Lela isn’t just anyone—she’s determined to save her best friend’s soul, even if it means sacrificing her eternal afterlife.

As Lela struggles to find Nadia, she’s captured by the Guards, enormous, not-quite-human creatures that patrol the dark city’s endless streets. Their all-too-human leader, Malachi, is unlike them in every way except one: his deadly efficiency. When he meets Lela, Malachi forms his own plan: get her out of the city, even if it means she must leave Nadia behind. Malachi knows something Lela doesn’t—the dark city isn’t the worst place Lela could end up, and he will stop at nothing to keep her from that fate


My Thoughts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Holy Moly! It’s been ages and ages and ages since a YA PNR’s  (UF?) left me feeling this pumped. She’s dark and broken and fancies herself damaged, but is also moving passed that. She’s friends and connections and finally sees something more out there for her. ‘Till she loses her someone and finds herself in this twisted version of not-quite-hell, maybe purgatory.

It’s twisted this place: getting all you want but never being happy with whatever that happens to be! It’s twisted this place with these guards shepherding these people so despondent, they’re totally unaware of where they are and or even why they are! Setting of my nightmares, this place where things could only have been worse had it been filled with a Pennywise here, some flying paper monkeys there. But fascinating too with the in’s and out’s of growing buildings and towers that consume those in it!

And while I loved the world she’d found herself in (I was enthralled by it all, in fact) Lena and Malachi and the rest of them were not bad either. She’s kick ass, he’s kicks… hell, they were all kick ass if not a bit deluded over their own importance. With that last minor thing aside, the darkness they each brought with them piqued my interest as they came in to the story on equal footing:

It’s not boy saves girl or girl inspires boy, though things could have gone that way, too. Here he’s broken and dark, but she is too. It’s just that he’s had more time dealing while she’s new to that... and OK so he mentors her and takes her under his wing, (and may be I could have done with out that,) but the closer she got to doing what she was there for, the closer they got to each other! So that the chemistry going on (and there’s no denying the chemistry there,) was a lot like Dimka and his Rose, less the whole forbidden love thing the latter had going for them.

But my favorite things here and note that there were several things in this... Well, the first touches on her being kick ass… but not just kick ass. A couple of moments have her showing vulnerability so that it’s obvious… her being the way she is, well, there’s reason for that. Just think of Chessie or Eve and you’ll see a little of them in her. Another is how she gets called out on being full of it…though not necessarily in those terms and not as harshly. She rides to the rescue only to be told that there’s a time and place for everything and everyone, herself included.

Awesome… and that’s even when the lead characters were behaving like douches!






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Friday, November 23, 2012

Ten Days of Perfect by Andrea Randall

 
Ten Days of Perfect (November Blue, #1)
Good Reads Summary
Ten Days of Perfect by Andrea Randall

This is the first book in the November Blue series.

Scars from her first love and the reckless lifestyle of her parents force Ember Harris to chart a new course. She favors practicality over spontaneity and rules over a broken heart.

An encounter with a musician at a local pub forces Ember into making a decision to let go or hold on for dear life as passions are unlocked and deceptions revealed.


My Thoughts
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Thank the gods that’s over…

Like any other girl, I enjoy a good romance, the key being “good.” I don’t mind sappy, I don’t mind the corny. I don’t even mind the over the top declarations of love (sometimes) … but when all that’s found in one book- repeatedly mind you- well, you all should have been present to hear my absolute cheer of delight at having finally turned that last page! This book with its host of characters, each a little too closely connected to their emotional sides HAD ME CRINGING and then HAD ME QUESTIONING what the hell was going on.

I’m all about emotion… unless things start feeling forced and contrived. So the girl is in love? So the girl is torn over choosing between this or that? I DIDN’T CARE because all her musings revealed there was not much there to begin with (Princeton, my ass.)  She’d cry at the drop of hat… and so did the guy! Then there’s the more obvious things of us witnessing the same girl go from hot then cold then hot then scared then soul shattering in love (that same phrase may or may not have been used in this one) all in a span of TEN (PERFECT) DAYS!

Yet, for all those over the top moments in this one, I kept at it. Why though? When early on, I’d already felt that it was either going to be too sweet loaded to the limit with words of love or too angsty (unnecessary) drama? Honestly I don’t know… I wanted to see if there'd be any thing other than those over the top declarations/descriptions. I hoped in vain because it was bam bam bam, one after another here, folks! I may even be slightly impressed by how over the top and too romantic (read cheese galore) things got or not:

“It wasn’t my body he was trying to please- it was my spirit, my soul, my core.” ~Ambitious, I like it.

“Bo said that when he first sang with you, and looked into your eyes, it was like he was able to feel everything you’ve ever felt. He said his soul thumped inside of him and it felt like he’d known you and loved you a thousand times.” ~His soul thumped!

“I’ve never felt like this with anyone. Not just physically either. You’ve burrowed deep in my soul.” ~‘Burrowed’ sounds painful.

“You’re crying because of how you feel about me?” ~Wouldn’t you do so, too… with something burrowing inside of you?!

“You’ve shocked my soul to life…” ~This is sounding more and more painful.
[“It wasn’t my body he was trying to please- it was my spirit, my soul, my core.” Ambitious, I like it.
“Bo said that when he first sang with you, and looked into your eyes, it was like he was able to feel everything you’ve ever felt. He said his soul thumped inside of him and it felt like he’d known you and loved you a thousand times.” His soul thumped!

“I’ve never felt like this with anyone. Not just physically either. You’ve burrowed deep in my soul.” ‘Burrowed’ sounds painful.

“You’re crying because of how you feel about me?” Wouldn’t you do so, too… with something burrowing inside of you?!

“You’ve shocked my soul to life…” This is sounding more and more painful.
(hide spoiler)]

Except my personal favorites were moments that made absolutely no sense to me:

“If square had a taste, it was his jaw. If clouds had a touch, they were his lips. I~ mean, come on! I can’t be alone on my feelings on this one… !

“A lacy black corset tightened around my throat with a wide satin bow. My eyes tripled in size, as if they were trying to hear what he’d said.” ~Seriously, what do you mean?

And once again I wonder, why do I do this to myself? 
Forgive me, my brain.





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Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner

A Conspiracy of Kings (The Queen's Thief, #4)
Good Reads Summary
A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner

Sophos, under the guidance of yet another tutor, practices his swordplay and strategizes escape scenarios should his father's villa come under attack. How would he save his mother? His sisters? Himself? Could he reach the horses in time? Where would he go? But nothing prepares him for the day armed men, silent as thieves, swarm the villa courtyard ready to kill, to capture, to kidnap. Sophos, the heir to the throne of Sounis, disappears without a trace.

In Attolia, Eugenides, the new and unlikely king, has never stopped wondering what happened to Sophos. Nor has the Queen of Eddis. They send spies. They pay informants. They appeal to the gods. But as time goes by, it becomes less and less certain that they will ever see their friend alive again.

Across the small peninsula battles are fought, bribes are offered, and conspiracies are set in motion. Darkening the horizon, the Mede Empire threatens, always, from across the sea. And Sophos, anonymous and alone, bides his time. Sophos, drawing on his memories of Gen, Pol, the Magus and Eddis, sets out on an adventure that will change all of their lives forever


My Thoughts
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars


In a way I have THE FALSE PRINCE to thank for finally picking A CONSPIRACY OF KINGS up. I’d hoped to hold out ‘till the rest of THE THIEF series was out, but all that FALSE PRINCE lacked had me missing what Gen and his stories possessed. So that with Gen’s “Your time will come, puppy. You just wait.” Right now, I’m all, He certainly has!

Brilliant, is all: brilliant characters, brilliant story, in a brilliant world of people struggling not to be defined by defined by their circumstance simply doing what they must. And though I thought I knew where things were headed and sometimes I called it right, most other times (most frequently often) I’d be off the mark. And I loved that aspect of this: that there are still some things that can take me by surprise.

Except I really shouldn’t be surprised with Gen in the picture it’s actually best to chuck any expectations out the window and go with things. And this is starting to read like a love letter to Gen... (I have no qualms about making this about that,) when really this is more about Sounis and how things are going on in his part of the peninsula. In fact, he takes his cue from Gen being as big and as unexpected in where he takes things. He shines in this one, even with all the self doubt and wanting something else. It's his reluctance to be who he is and what follows after that which proves how much he’d grown and still he managed to let me catch glimpses of who he was when first encountered!



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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy, #1)
Good Reads Summary  
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

THE FALSE PRINCE is the thrilling first book in a brand-new trilogy filled with danger and deceit and hidden identities that will have readers rushing breathlessly to the end.

In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king's long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner's motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword's point -- he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage's rivals have their own agendas as well.

As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner's sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.

An extraordinary adventure filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats.


My Thoughts
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
  “THE FALSE PRINCE is the thrilling first book in a brand-new trilogy filled with danger and deceit and hidden identities that will have readers rushing breathlessly to the end.”
Ergh... Not quite.

This one follows a formula but fails to live up to what it’s emulating- Sage tries very hard to be Eugenedis: quick hands, clever mouth… and hiding something (a lot of somethings) and then never tiring of one upping others. But he never quite got me interested in him and his story. Why though? How about the simplistic characters? How about there being next to nothing about the world they live in? How about how there’s nothing new in it, with just about everything happening predictably.

Huge hints are dropped so much and so often, that barely an eighth in that you don’t even have to guess anymore at who holds which secret close anyway. A bit clumsy (simple?) I suppose because eventually there’s no mystery to unravel. By the time it’s time to unravel anything, it’s all been laid out so that you don’t really care which way things go anyway… because whatever you called early on, is likely the way things pan out. .

Had I read this prior to Lumatere and the Thief series, I’d likely have been impressed. But this lacked what those two had: characters you question but still rooted for, writing that’s not once clumsy nor simplistic, as well as world building that’s superb. FALSE PRINCE tries for all that but doesn’t quite get there.



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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fingerprints of You by Kristen-Paige Madonia

Fingerprints of You
Good Reads Summary
Fingerprints of You by Kristen-Paige Madonia

Lemon grew up with Stella, a single mom who wasn’t exactly maternal. Stella always had a drink in her hand and a new boyfriend every few months, and when things got out of hand, she would whisk Lemon off to a new town for a fresh beginning. Now, just as they are moving yet again, Lemon discovers that she is pregnant from a reckless encounter—with a guy Stella had been flirting with.

On the verge of revisiting her mother’s mistakes, Lemon struggles to cope with the idea of herself as a young unmarried mother, as well as the fact that she’s never met her own father. Determined to have at least one big adventure before she has the baby, Lemon sets off on a cross-country road trip, intending not only to meet her father, but to figure out who she wants to be.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


You’d be surprised at what I liked and didn’t. This being a story of self discovery as well as one of her accepting things as they were… there were times I felt ‘the sit you down and tell you how are things going to be’ versus someone giving you a kernel a wisdom, I much preferred the former. If only because the second came too many times and felt like doing so was the thing to do in that moment. Consider these: 
“Let’s get one thing straight… You don’t get to that now, Lemon,” she said. “You don’t get to make him something different than he is.” She leaned back and shrugged. “Maybe he’s a good guy and maybe he’s not, but you don’t get to decide. He get’s to show you- that’s why you’re here. He get’s to show that’s why you’re here. You quit that game when we get on the bus.” And then she tapped her finger on the table and said, “Quit.”
or
“Life’s too short to walk away from people who love you. Even if that love us complicated and screwed up…it’s love. And that makes it worth finding a way to hold on to it.”

There’s nothing wrong with the second one, or the first one for that matter, except that something similar is said at the sweetest/saddest/ most appropriate juncture in the story every. single. time, so that instead of feeling ‘Aaw, shucks. That’s right...” I didn’t.

It’s a surprise for me to find that when she’s told what to do, I felt those things could actually happen. All those other profound moments on love and loving, living then leaving: I didn’t buy them. But when told what to do and why? It's those moments felt like they could have happened.

So this is the story
... Of a girl about to repeat what her mother had done
…Of a girl insisting that she isn’t her mother.
…Of a girl who loves her friend(s).
…Of a girl who wants so many things
…Bottom line, of a girl who’s not sure where to start

Eventually things shift, making this one
…Of a girl seeing things for what they are
…Of a girl accepting finally things as is

Then there’s that love story that’s sweet and new but a bit sad too.



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Monday, November 19, 2012

MINI REVIEWS: The Lonely Hearts Club and Incarnation


My Thoughts On...

The Lonely Hearts Club 
 by Elizabeth Eulberg
The Lonely Hearts Club(2.5 of 5 stars)

Sometimes cute and funny is what works for me.
And THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB si definitely just those things .

Penny’s given up on boys. But who can blame her, when the story starts with the likes of Nate who is more than a little full of himself? Things snowball once more and more girls decide to do as she has, with some doing so for the “right” reasons, and others, well, not quite.

Things got predictable in progression with petty jealousies, popularity-seeing people, and an unrequited something or other popping up, but they made me laugh, even when one or some or all of them were doing the dumbest of things.

Plus, there’s an off key karaoke moment. 

 ***
***

IncarnationIncarnation 
 by Emma Cornwall
(3 of 5 stars)

It’s not you… it’s me except who am I kidding? It’s you, book. It’s definitely you. Or was it me?  Gah!

I was going to say that I still can’t get over how there seems to be so much love for INCARNATION going around but not much of that love’s coming from, but now though! To be fair, it took a while to get into the writing, pace, the story... heck, most everything in this. The writing’s different and even slow at parts… but things get dark, then atmospheric (and all other –ics you can think of.)

I didn’t know what I was going to get, but this was not it.



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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Deity (Covenant, #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Deity (Covenant, #3)
Good Reads Summary
Deity by Jennifer L. Armentrout

"History is on repeat, and things didn't go so well the last time. "

Alexandria isn't sure she's going to make it to her eighteenth birthday--to her Awakening. A long-forgotten, fanatical order is out to kill her, and if the Council ever discovers what she did in the Catskills, she's a goner... and so is Aiden.

If that's not freaky enough, whenever Alex and Seth spend time "training"--which really is just Seth's code word for some up-close and personal one-on-one time--she ends up with another mark of the Apollyon, which brings her one step closer to Awakening ahead of schedule. Awesome.

But as her birthday draws near, her entire world shatters with a startling revelation and she's caught between love and Fate. One will do anything to protect her. One has been lying to her since the beginning. Once the gods have revealed themselves, unleashing their wrath, lives will be irrevocably changed... and destroyed.

Those left standing will discover if love is truly greater than Fate...


My Thoughts
My rating: 2.25 of 5 stars

well, now… color me surprised. I didn’t… actually … hate this one; neither did I have those nagging feelings I’d experienced as I read book’s on and two, those of “I’ve read l this before.” but that second thing was more of a conscious decision on my part. i knew as i continued with this that i was to encounter rose and dmitri and adrian read-alikes; i knew too that i would encounter more of the same thing that pushed and pulled them.

but it is pleased i am, to say that things went elsewhere here… to an extent, even if the characters still have the same character flaws as those mentioned. Think reckless. Think self sacrificing. Then think douche nozzle. There’s one of each of those in this one as there was in VA. And you know what? I’ve come to accept these facts… because once done, reading this became less a chore with me not picking up on certain “parallels” (and I use the term loosely) and going “ooh, you went there again, did you?”

because the twists in this one?
there were many.

plus those twist?
they were outrageous!

it all sucked me in and had me entertained. my worries over things becoming repetitive (reckless rose alex and protective dimka aiden,) and my issues over the language being juvenile (just see all the names ro.. alex called seth!) were not entirely baseless… because all that (and more) is here, but  I was still entertained. i’m surprised that I enjoyed this as much as I did, given my feelings for the first two books… but, that ending.. was  hmm… ergh… that ending was… not badly done at all.



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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Pure (Covenant, #2)
Good Reads Summary
Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout

There is need. And then there is Fate
Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn't exactly awesome--especially when Alexandria's "other half" is everywhere she goes. Seth's in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom--so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do--and sacrifice--for her. 


When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies--lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn't blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude or killing her.
When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.


My Thoughts
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

No matter how entertaining PURE got, I cannot in all honesty rate it any higher than a two. I'm almost a hundred percent sure that others have gone over the similarities  between this and VA, so I won't even attempt a comparison of my own.

But I imagine that were one to have read COVENANT prior to VA , I really do believe that from that reading experience one would take away a highly entertaining action packed read. It'd have been likely a mind blowing one, with how kick ass the heroine was, how hot the chemistry could get, and how interesting that push-pull between girl and boy, then same girl and other boy... except were not in la la land, and VA did in fact come first...so I' left with that nagging need to point out that credit must be given where it's due.

If it were all about fun, easy 4 of 5...
but then again there really isn't anything new here, so I settle for 2 of 5.


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Friday, November 16, 2012

Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham

Reunited
Good Reads Summary
Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham

1 Concert
2000 Miles
3 Ex-Best Friends

Alice, Summer, and Tiernan are ex-best friends.

Back in middle school, the three girls were inseparable. They were also the number one fans of the rock band Level3.

But when the band broke up, so did their friendship. Summer ran with the popular crowd, Tiernan was a rebellious wild-child, and Alice spent high school with her nose buried in books.

Now, just as the girls are about to graduate, Level3 announces a one-time-only reunion show.

Even though the concert’s 2000 miles away, Alice buys three tickets on impulse. And as it turns out, Summer and Tiernan have their own reasons for wanting to get out of town. Good thing Alice’s graduation gift (a pea-green 1976 VW camper van known as the Pea Pod) is just the vehicle to get them there.

But on the long drive cross-country, the girls hit more than a few bumps in the road. Will their friendship get an encore or is the show really over?


My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three girls who used to be friends but no longer are taking a one last opportunity to see what clicked years before… but with each doing so for vastly different reasons. Since the one thing bound them together had changed early on, so had they: Alice stays all around good girl practicing what she preached; Summer becomes It Girl; then Tiernan only gets louder and edgier than the two combined.

It’s a hilarious road trip story what with random oddness that took place. And it’s each odd bit that eased off on the heavy bit that most all the key players refused to acknowledge at first. I mean you can’t get all heavy and emotional with talk of squirrel burials, Michael the Archangel (or not,) and kudzu hacking going on one after the other, right?

So, I laughed when I was meant to and cringed when appropriate… but at its core what we have in REUNITED is a story of a friendship. What they used to have specifically was not as easy as they made it seem. Peas in a Pod, true they may have been, but with each member came a certain insecurity that prompted respective jealousies and little doubts. It’s the last that made being part of the group more difficult than one would expect… because in their groups were the more specific loyalties and closeness~ perceived ones or otherwise~ between specific members. All of it made the blow up of what they were all the more plausible but also frustrating, because just because you’re one in close knit group doesn’t always stop individual issues from cropping up and getting in the way.

And they’ve each their issues... they really do. But my problem is it’s all so simple in the end. That Tiernan is the way she is because she feels alone; that Summer is the way she is because she wants more. In fact why they do what they do simplified them somehow, the only one who has me still wondering is Alice, because there’s not that much to her… save the fact that she’s the good one, who doesn’t let anything bother her… mostly, anyway.

Overall, it’s a cute story but not without its issues.

3/5




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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Just for Now by Abbi Glines

Just for Now (Sea Breeze #4)
Good Reads  Summary
Just for Now by Abbi Glines

The day Preston Drake figured out that wealthy women paid well for a set of tight abs and a pretty face his life turned around.

The run down rat-infested trailer he had shared with his alcoholic mother and three younger siblings was now only a place he visited to pay the bills and stock the pantry with food.

He no longer worried about his family starving or living without electricity. The money he made entertaining rich older women more than covered his family’s needs and his own. He had it all figured out. Except…

There was this girl.

She was as innocent as he was tainted.

Amanda Hardy wished her knees didn’t get weak when Preston walked into a room. She hated the fact her heart raced when he flashed his smile in her direction. He had a different girl in his bed every night. He was the kind of boy a smart girl ran from. So, why was she coming up with ways to get close to him? Even when it was obvious he wanted to keep her at a distance.

Maybe her heart knew something the world didn’t. Maybe Preston Drake was more than just a pretty face.


My Thoughts
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Why am I still reading these books?
Oh! The things I do to myself… if you’ve read books one through three, there are no big surprises in this one:

1.    Messed up alpha male type.
2.    A girl who’s not as messed up as he.
3.    Then sex…

Did I miss anything?

...Did I?!

Nope… because those three points there just about sum things up.

Now, the question is did I hate it or love it? How about neither?. Have I gone brain dead that I paid no heed to the "Mine. mine. mine." declarations? Or the 'you complete me' moments? Or even those 'you make me want to be a better man' thing?

I do believe reading the first three's prepped me for things I'd normally find issue with. Add that girl Hardy's different... somehow. Sure, she's got a little bit of Sadie (inexperienced) in her and a little bit of Low (insecure,) but she's her own girl too, going after what she wants. 


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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

One Lonely Degree by C.K. Kelly Martin

One Lonely Degree
Good Reads Summary
One Lonely Degree by C.K. Kelly Martin

Anything is possible. . . .
Finn has always felt out of place, but suddenly her world is unraveling. It started with The Party. And Adam Porter. And the night in September that changed everything. The only person who knows about that night is Audrey—Finn’s best friend, her witness to everything, and the one person Finn trusts implicitly. So when Finn’s childhood friend Jersy moves back to town—reckless, beautiful Jersy, all lips and eyes and hair so soft you’d want to dip your fingers into it if you weren’t careful—Finn gives her blessing for Audrey to date him. How could she possibly say no to Audrey? With Audrey gone for the summer, though, Finn finds herself spending more and more time with Jersy, and for the first time in her life, something feels right. But Finn can’t be the girl who does this to her best friend . .. can she?


My Thoughts
My rating: 3.75 of 5 stars

The girl is Set apart. Intense. And yes, I’d even say lonely. More, having hard time with the changes going on. She’s an intense girl who feels everything deeply - too deeply. With all that in mind, things are not made easier with her needing only a few deep connections. So she has those: one deep connection with Audrey, the only person who knows most everything about her then, and another close(ish) relationship with her father. But when her hated “anything is possible” rears its head, things start shifting and it’s in these moments that we see more of her:

that she get’s in her own head;
that she feels even more;
and things can get too much (especially for her);
and later that she tries to do the right thing…even if it’s the hard thing.

For me this was better than MARTIN’s first book that I read because where that had death and grief and a star (well, not really); this one’s more about a girl and things changing, coming to grips with what can’t be changed and just letting things go the way they’re going. And Finn being such a control freak, you can imagine just how hard things could get for her! Then again, perhaps that’s the common thread between these two books that has me so impressed; there’s a coming to grips and an acceptance of things for what they are and (trying to) move on.

So, things got Slow. Soft. Sad. The girl’s emotions are laid out for us to wade through. With Finn it’s all about being set apart and different, as such all her emotions come out stronger. And for the most part, almost nothing really big happens, but by its end everything’s changed! Her introduction that you can’t really pinpoint the exact moment of change, is true… but I witnessed everything she felt as things progressed, so that even when I couldn’t quite agree with what’s going on or with her choices, I still came away knowing her. Why? Because it’s all based on what she was feeling at the moment.  And you’d think things would get boring with all the girl’s asides on what she was feeling given all that’s going on and the people in it, but it didn’t! She drew me in and had me feeling for/with her. She leads an almost insulated day to day perhaps because she does feel so intensely, and though she seems so alone, and at first glance lonely, may be she was not? Or maybe she was?  My point is I felt things here… and though it reads contradictory: at first nothing actually happens but in the end everything’s changed.









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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2)
Good Reads Summary
Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.


Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?


My Thoughts
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Brutal.
Haunting.
Beautiful.


I was wishing I’d put the time in to re-read the first one because beautifully written as it was a struggle for me place who and what where and when at first…  till’ it wasn’t anymore. Once things came together for me, the first impression I come away with was the grief that’s so clearly laid out, and then later the conflict of the both of them wanting one thing and knowing it’s likely not possible. With the leads separated as they were, them situated that way made for an epic story, especially with both facing unforgivable truths.

With talk of hope and what not, as well as of forgiving and wanting to but being unable to do so? Heavy stuff, but not all the time…as there surprise moments of levity others in the story brought with them, though you’d be surprised at how frustrating that same thing was (Zuzana… you’re peculiar creature, you. I was torn between cheering her on and wanting to shove her to side for her own good!) 

Obviously that levity’s never due to Karou and Akiva, for how could that be at all possible? And again, with those unforgivable truths! It’s in fact the very same thing that leads them to choose certain paths, and said paths? Edge.of.my.seat. Now, those light moments aside, we’re never really distracted from the bigger things taking place: him making his choices then dragging others in as well and her going on as she was then seeing things for what they truly were, (though her revelations came to her came too slowly to suit me at times!)

The writing is once again something that’s impressed me, as not a word, not a passage is wasted… and it’s only made better when it’s about a complicated set of characters each with something to settle. Then see how the rest of them see this Romeo and Juliet… and it’s not once easy, rather things get conflicted, brutal… forcing them to face up to what’s at hand. Is this just a love story? Not just that, not even close:

  “Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living – one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mother’s arms to take their turn in the killing and dying.

Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple and dreamed of a world that was like a jewel box without a jewel- a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness.

***

This was not that world.

4.5/5





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Monday, November 12, 2012

Broken by A.E. Rought

Broken
Good Reads Summary
Broken by A.E. Rought

Imagine a modern spin on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein where a young couple’s undying love and the grief of a father pushed beyond sanity could spell the destruction of them all.

A string of suspicious deaths near a small Michigan town ends with a fall that claims the life of Emma Gentry's boyfriend, Daniel. Emma is broken, a hollow shell mechanically moving through her days. She and Daniel had been made for each other, complete only when they were together. Now she restlessly wanders the town in the late Fall gloom, haunting the cemetery and its white-marbled tombs, feeling Daniel everywhere, his spectre in the moonlight and the fog.

When she encounters newcomer Alex Franks, only son of a renowned widowed surgeon, she's intrigued despite herself. He's an enigma, melting into shadows, preferring to keep to himself. But he is as drawn to her as she is to him. He is strangely... familiar. From the way he knows how to open her locker when it sticks, to the nickname she shared only with Daniel, even his hazel eyes with brown flecks are just like Daniel's.

The closer they become, though, the more something inside her screams there's something very wrong with Alex Franks. And when Emma stumbles across a grotesque and terrifying menagerie of mangled but living animals within the walls of the Franks' estate, creatures she surely knows must have died from their injuries, she knows.


My Thoughts
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really should start reading the synopsis of what I read because the fact that BROKEN is based on something else only kicked in when someone mentioned Shelley High. And even that it's based on something else has me wondering if it really is... I should probably go with 'loosely based' because things went the way of Should have, could have, would have all over again:

Should have been less about the romance
Could have been less repetitive
(And were both those true)
I would have been more excited about the outcome.

The set up: she’s girl-broken and he is boy-mysterious, average enough, right? But then things seemed to be going the right direction when it’s explained why she’s broken: pining over a boy long gone this despite it being a little frustrating because it’s so obvious that’s it’s all about her suffering and her not being able to cope. I think tapping into hot boy suddenly entering the picture is getting old as a means to shakes things up, but that’s precisely what happens here. He’s all scarred but more beautiful for it because hiding from others’ eyes, he’s fails so spectacularly (cos’ he’s so hot and all).

And this could have been so much more than a girl standing in front of a boy, saying she loved him… had it simply been just that girl standing in front of a bodiless grave, saying she missed him. I truly believe that had things stuck to where things started, I’d be feeling more than, “Well, that was interesting.” I fear BROKEN is going to be one of the plenty books that I’m doomed to have few fuzzy memories of.

The middle was a waste of effort on my part because it was all just the same thing over and and over and over again, and not even touching on what could have been dark or scary! They should have focused on the Frankenstein bit and not the epic romance of her pining over dead boy and being all conflicted over new found feelings for the hot mysterious one. Hmmm, you could even say there’s a love triangle here except one of them's dead!

The only part that actually had me excited was once I hit 81% then it was all boom boom boom… and kind of sort of scary… I would have loved this years ago, but with so many other books having passed my brain this one was just OK.

Thank you Netgalley





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Sunday, November 11, 2012

'Til The World Ends by Julie Kagawa

'Til The World Ends (Blood of Eden #0.5)
Good Reads Summary
'Til The World Ends by Julie Kagawa
Dawn of Eden by Julie Kagawa

Before The Immortal Rules, there was the Red Lung, a relentless virus determined to take out all in its path. For Kylie, the miracle of her survival is also her burden—as a doctor at one of the clinics for the infected, she is forced to witness endless suffering. What’s worse, strange things are happening to the remains of the dead, and by the time she befriends Ben Archer, she’s beginning to wonder if a global pandemic is the least of her problems...

Thistle & Thorne by Ann Aguirre

After a catastrophic spill turns the country into a vast chemical wasteland, those who could afford it retreated to fortresses, self-contained communities run by powerful corporations. But for Mari Thistle, life on the outside—in the Red Zone—is a constant struggle. To protect her family, Mari teams up with the mysterious Thorne Goodman. Together, they’ll face an evil plot in both the underworld of the Red Zone and the society inside the fortresses that could destroy those on the outside... for good.

Sun Storm by Karen Duvall

Sarah Daggot has been chasing storms since she was a child. But after the biggest solar flares in history nearly destroy the planet, she becomes a Kinetic, endowed by her exposure to extreme radiation with the power to sense coming storms—in the cosmos and beyond. And she’s not the only one. Sarah believes the Kinetics are destined to join forces and halt the final onslaught of the sun. She’ll vow to keep trying to convince the one missing link in their chain of defense, the enigmatic Ian Matthews, up until the world ends


My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This review is for Kagawa's Dawn of Eden and Aguirre's Thorne and Thistle

Dawn of Eden
by Julie Kagawa 
2.5/5

Oh,  so now I remember why I don't often pick up novellas! that is to say there's a lot happening in so short a span. This one is no different, but I am not complaining too loudly as this one's allowed me a glimpse into a certain K's dying world. K as in Kanin of Immortal Rules, the sole reason that that particular book was a total win for me.

This, as expected, is a quick story that starts with a strong woman struggling to continue on doing what she thinks right. It's when she's almost at the end of her rope that a new guy comes in... mysterious, good looking and sticking out like a sore thumb with all the secrets his not spilling. Typical set up, right?

Things then progress quickly as they go on the run, homeward bound. Once there, the bit drama bit got a bit thick for my taste. I confess things got a bit heavy handed with drama and the speech making.. but parts were interesting, foremost being the mysterious individual who dropped into their life so suddenly, imparting some knowledge then leaving just as suddenly as he first appeared on the scene.

This was a quick read and overall just OK.

Thistle and Thorn
by Ann Aguirre
3.5/5

Why, Hello Thorne and Thistle! These two have piqued my interest and have me hoping there’s to be a full version soon-ish.

The two are just my kind of leads. Where Thorne Goodman is complicated and mysterious, Mari Thistle‘s pretty straight forward in what she wants to happen. She’s simple in wanting to keep her family safe; he’s motivated by reasons that are unclear for most of the story. It’s that last that renders him only more mysterious.

In particular, I enjoyed like that slow sizzle that almost turned scorching, but didn’t quite get there… because the both of them had me wanting where things were going. I mean you think you know it’s going that way… but you’re just not sure, if that makes sense at all? Then there’s the mess they’d both found themselves in, facing off as they were against a crazy-ass, boss man. Things got interesting, to say the least.

Thank you Net Galley!


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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Iced by Karen Marie Moning

Iced (Dani O'Malley, #1)
Good Reads Summary
Iced by Karen Marie Moning

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Marie Moning comes the first book in her hotly anticipated new urban paranormal trilogy, set in the world of her blockbuster Fever series.

The year is 1 AWC—After the Wall Crash. The Fae are free and hunting us. It’s a war zone out there, and no two days are alike. I’m Dani O’Malley, the chaos-filled streets of Dublin are my home, and there’s no place I’d rather be.

Dani “Mega” O’Malley plays by her own set of rules—and in a world overrun by Dark Fae, her biggest rule is: Do what it takes to survive. Possessing rare talents and the all-powerful Sword of Light, Dani is more than equipped for the task. In fact, she’s one of the rare humans who can defend themselves against the Unseelie. But now, amid the pandemonium, her greatest gifts have turned into serious liabilities.

Dani’s ex–best friend, MacKayla Lane, wants her dead, the terrifying Unseelie princes have put a price on her head, and Inspector Jayne, the head of the police force, is after her sword and will stop at nothing to get it. What’s more, people are being mysteriously frozen to death all over the city, encased on the spot in sub-zero, icy tableaux.

When Dublin’s most seductive nightclub gets blanketed in hoarfrost, Dani finds herself at the mercy of Ryodan, the club’s ruthless, immortal owner. He needs her quick wit and exceptional skill to figure out what’s freezing Fae and humans dead in their tracks—and Ryodan will do anything to ensure her compliance.

Dodging bullets, fangs, and fists, Dani must strike treacherous bargains and make desperate alliances to save her beloved Dublin—before everything and everyone in it gets iced.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3-4 of 5 stars

Took me all of ten minutes to get used to Dani as MC. She’s definitely no Mac whose own story starts with the girl all cute and funny and bumbling about; Dani is the opposite in knowing her place in things. The girl sees things a certain way and because of this sometimes fails to see other possibilities. But add that odd aspect of her that stuck more than once: some sort of innocence that drew others to her. I mean After The Wall Crashed and even before that she’d seen things and done things… yet through all that there’s some thing more to her… something that’s pulls others to her. I liked this and disliked this because each time she spoke, her age showed. 14?! And it got ergh... weird (?) how she'd see, all Mega and superhero head strong; and have that opposed to how others saw her. And it’s not even that she’s unaware, but more like she’s not concerned.

Except it’s also on account of the girl’s lack of concern over what others have think of her and what should be done, that’s she says some of the most hilarious things. She’s a funny kid… except she’s a girl surrounded by are not so funny others. I sort of even liked that opposition, too~ her all good (but bad ass at the same time), then the rest of them not good at all. Because the fact is they each know what they each are and didn’t bother with pretense. It’s the last that allowed for some refreshingly upfront moments.

All that said, I liked this but didn't love it.  First, I doubt there’s any book out there that could beat the feelings that Books four and five in Fever brought out in me. Second, I was hoping for some old people to pop back in *Barrons* Now, the question is  does Ryodan match up?
    “I can’t decide if what he just let me see was real – or another of his games. They don’t call him master of manipulation for nothing. Barron breaks heads. Ryodan turns them inside out. Barrons fucks you up. Ryodan makes you fuck yourself up. He pushes buttons and rearranges things according to his own private, coolly sociopathic plan.”

Reading that, one would think Ryodan is indeed all that (and wish it true, too) except really there’s too little to support it. I mean Ryodan’s scary and mysterious, and a lot like with Mac with Barrons, Dani (and thus we) knew next to nothing about the guy, in fact, it’s that not-knowing pushed me on, but the guy doesn’t have that much face time proving what a big bad baddy he could be. Mostly he showed what a douche he was. There were other areas all ready covered. Take the whole Vlane-Mac-Barrons thing that felt redone but upped with Christian-Dani-Rodyan, and you’d almost feel disappointed at having to go over the same material again, and I almost did… except it’s all simply exceptionally done. Old hat love triangle with same characters different name, is truth… but gosh darn it: I was entertained!

And have I mentioned the funny? This got hilarious at points!

  “You could ask me to teach you.”

“Huh?” This night is getting weird in a hurry. “Teach me like you’re teaching a class or something? What are you going to call it: ‘You To Can Be a Sociopath 101?”

“It would be more like a graduate – level class.”





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Friday, November 9, 2012

Almost by Anne Eliot

Almost
Good Reads Summary
Almost by Anne Eliot

At a freshman party she doesn't remember, Jess Jordan was almost raped.

...Almost. Very nearly. Not quite. 


Three years later, Jess has managed to make everyone believe she's better. Over it. Because she is.

...Almost. Very nearly. Not quite.
Unfortunately, until Jess proves she's back to normal activities, her parents won't discuss college. So, she lands a summer internship and strikes a deal with hockey jock, Gray Porter: He gets $8,000. She gets a fake boyfriend and a social life.

Jess has no idea Gray signed on for reasons other than money. She also never expects to fall in love. But Gray’s amazingly hot, holds her hand all the time, and makes her forget that he’s simply doing his job. It’s like having a real boyfriend.

...Almost. Very nearly. Not quite.
Gray Porter is hiding secrets of his own. About Jess Jordan. About why he’s driven to protect her, why he won't cash her checks, or deny her anything she asks.


My Thoughts
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

You'd be surprised with the number of epically funny moments in ALMOST, though the same are found in between long and drawn out moments of a girl who’s not sure about what’s up and of a boy who won’t say what needs saying. The girl’s got problems and comes up with a pretty original way of coping (or not coping, if you will) and you feel sorry for her, even her put on meanness… because as mentioned it’s all put on since she can’t really move given her not knowing what she’s moving on from.

Then there’s Gray Porter: him and his all around good guy-ness who apparently has more to him as well. Both parties, it seems are haunted by the opposite sides of the same event, and both of them are unable to move on from what’s not been done.

To be frank I didn’t dislike this but neither did I like it: simply, even with the funny things, all the giddy moments of “I’m in love with his hair, his eyes, his abs” and then cut to the boy, and his very same thoughts going through his head of ‘her hair, her dimples her lips…’ AND there I was growing weary of the both of them waxing poetic about the physical perfection of the other as well as the both of them flogging themselves for each their own perceived shortcomings. Weary, because both lists got long and complicated and yes, repetitive. 

Some funny moments… sure, but not nearly enough to keep me interested in a pair of kids who having the hardest of time to move on. My interest was not even kept by that convoluted plan they’d both agreed to… because it’s so obvious that the plan’s a fool proof road map toward heartbreak. I mean aren’t convoluted plans always headed there anyway?

2/5




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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Blind Spot by Laura Ellen

Blind Spot
Good Reads Summary
Blind Spot by Laura Ellen

There’s none so blind as they that won’t see.

Seventeen-year-old Tricia Farni’s body floated to the surface of Alaska’s Birch River six months after the night she disappeared. The night Roz Hart had a fight with her. The night Roz can’t remember. Roz, who struggles with macular degeneration, is used to assembling fragments to make sense of the world around her. But this time it’s her memory that needs piecing together—to clear her name . . . to find a murderer.

This unflinchingly emotional novel is written in the powerful first-person voice of a legally blind teen who just wants to be like everyone else.


My Thoughts
My rating: 1.5 of 5 stars

Things went from confusing to mysterious to frustrating and unfair and then to so utterly stupid. Granted the ‘stupid’ came in, much later, but it’s also on its account that my appreciation for things in BLIND SPOT died a quick and unexpected death. Seriously though it’s been a long while since I’ve been disappointed in a book’s turn out!

It’s all very complicated from the start for Roz with absent father and overworked mother, the girl’s got a chip on her shoulder the size of Mt. Rushmore! Without fail, the girl’s all, “I’m not special… I just can’t see well.”  So when made to attend Special Ed class, everything seemed to be an insult against her with just about everyone seemingly out to get her. Of course, considering her best friend had just dropped her, you’d think she’d be over the moon at having new people approach her… and there were many who approached, so suddenly at that! I mean there’s The Jock, that weird manic pretty girl who’s so out of this world and Stanford or cute shy guy as he is initially labeled.

It’s all very upsetting/frustrating/confusing too… It’s authentically frustrating how unfair things got… and I was sitting here wondering why everyone else is letting things slide! Except at the back of my head, I was also wondering if I could rely on her side of the story at all, because what she’s told had me wondering if there was something she wasn’t telling. Was some vital piece being held back? So there I was: doubting the narrator and at the same time feeling sorry for her because I was simply unsure about things, but the worse thing is how her words got second place to what everyone else has to say. I can’t say I enjoyed it… but the goings on riled something in me.

Add that not so complicated boy girl goings on: the girl likes the boy who treats her badly, another guy likes the same girl but the girl is unaware, so it all becomes a little pedestrian, so standard YA. Except wait a couple of beats and you see a side to some of them. Some of them don’t back down, some of them say some pretty crappy things, but then there are also others among them who have their heads buried deep in the sand totally oblivious to what is. So, I don’t know if I enjoyed this part at all because a lot of the time all I wanted was for them to have a sit down and talk things through, minus the assuming, minus the fuming, and minus the unsupported jealousies.

And when so suddenly, Roz starts putting things together and finally starts thinking, I confess I wasn’t exactly thrilled by the change. Instead I was more SURPRISED by her going from, “She said... He said… And I heard this,” to connecting the dots. And she’s not the only one who changes too! Mostly the shift in the story line: I was kind of enjoying (but not completely, mind you)semi-smart mystery where you just don’t know whose word to put stock that it BLIND SPOT was going for at first. I was even sorta loving the whole people have got something to hide thing as well; but all that went bye- bye once Roz went all Velma on me and started in on an episode of Scooby Doo!

It’s the shift into the last I could not enjoy, let alone buy, simply because it was so sudden. Imagine if your dog suddenly spewing mathematical formula and you can approximate how I felt. Because once she starts suggesting they pull together and do this or that,  all I’m recalling is her having her head buried in the sand for most of the book just moments before. Also, the things she was suggesting? It really seemed to come straight out of Scooby Doo, minus cute dopey dog and skinny shaggy haired duo to make laugh.

What a waste of a good cover.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Shattered by Elizabeth Lee

Shattered
Good reads Summary
Shattered by Elizabeth   Lee

Alyssa Boyd had big plans. Big plans that included getting the hell out of the little town she’d grown up in with her two best friends. When she decided it was time to let one of them know her true feelings for him; a change of plans resulted in a tragic turn of events. Now, Alyssa is left alone to find her way out of the darkness that an untimely death has left in its wake.

Jesse Vaughn was never good at letting people in. He’d learned a long time ago that it’s easier that way because people leave, or, unfortunately, die. The one person he wanted to let in doesn’t want him anymore. The only problem is he can’t stop thinking about her. Jesse returns to the childhood home he left behind with one goal in mind… to convince her that they should be together.

When Jesse finds Alyssa she’s not the same girl he left behind. She’s wild, reckless and hell-bent on not giving Jesse a second chance. Lucky for Jesse, his stubborn streak has always been a mile-wide and he’s not about to give up on her.

When your life has been shattered can you really pick up all the pieces and move on?


My Thoughts
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

There’s nothing new in Shattered with its Heartbroken Girl, unsure as to how to proceed or even guy off in the shadows wanting to make things better for her. Heck even the shared heartbreak over someone’s death was not new; piece things apart and things could have gone better but at most this was just an OK story.

My issue they each are just as they are summed up, not once do any of them behave contrary to their respective labels. They call her over dramatic, and boy does she act that way! He’s the protective alpha type and simply he acts that way too. None of the side characters add much depth either: the Best friend is understanding, the mother is overbearing, and the father is squished between being there for the woman he loves and the daughter he's trying to understands. Except it could have been so much more too! The trio they’d formed and the memories they each have of the guy that glued them together… those were sweet and added something more... except add that little tidbit of the two having ‘thing’ for each other and neither wanting to rock the boat, well been there and bought the t-shirt, too!

Nothing new, nothing new, so here I am feeling like Eeyore all mopey… with his long drawn out “Oh well…” coupled with sad-sigh at the end.




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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Why I love YA...

So WHY, indeed?


My love for YA's going on three years now. I’m a contrary creature so that while I may love one thing in one story,I might loathe the very same things in another... but the thing that connects those stories together are the emotions that they bring out in me.

Where She Went (If I Stay, #2) 
The Boyfriend List: 15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs and Me, Ruby Oliver (Ruby Oliver, #1)
Early 2011, my heart, my brain, my everything’s beat hard by two very different books WHERE SHE WENT and BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY. Truth be told I was on an emotion-heavy book reading spree then and it was good because I felt all these things!

Flash forward a couple of months on and it’s all these funny lighter contemporaries that were rocking my boat. Those road trip stories, those (semi) smart leads and funny groups had my side in stitches all because Ruby Oliver or Norah or *insert any John Green or Rachel Cohn lead here* had stated something hilarious. (To this day I still recall the very moment I read WGwg’s opening line of ‘You can pick your friends. you can pick your nose… but you can’t pick your fiend’s nosesor something like that.) 

This is Not a TestThen there was that whole period when I couldn’t get enough of the dystopian/ post apoc/survivalist thing that’s all the rage. Though that’s not completely accurate as it was something of this genre ~THE HUNGER GAMES that got me on this YA loving train to begin with! It’s in these last kinds of books that me being intrigued came out, intrigued by the (im)possibility of it all. I mean READY PLAYER ONE isn’t strictly YA but with the young(ish) protagonist and the set up he’s in… things did get out of this world.

Yet out of this world as those books were, it’s the fantasy/magical/historical stuff that I’ve been rediscovering that’s resonated the most with me of late. Take the Wicked and the Just, then Eugenedis in The Thief, and later Sorcha in Daughter of the Forest, and most recently Marchetta’s Froi and his Quintanna… all these despite being so far removed from my reality, tore me apart… ugh, all the feels!

The King of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, #3)And that’s how I sum up my love for YA… that is to say: I can’t! I mean not without being all over the place about it. With the many, many emotions that books of this type get out of me that even the one’s I don’t love have me feeling something become worth the effort. Truthfully, I don’t LOVE all the books I come across.. sometimes my negativity even surprises me! But the simple fact is I feel something. I sympathize with the people I read, I am confused, intrigued by them… and everything else that takes place between the covers a book. Do I say I love YA because you can experience all these things in ashort while? Sometimes, it can be just that (and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. See Zarr’s Story of a Girl) but more it’s how almost all the people in these stories reflect a bit of the real. They feel. And I do.

So going on three years and sometimes growing weary of overused clich├ęs, there’s still always something somewhere that’s different/new, in the writing, in the story, or in the characters themselves that have me picking up the next one. Because let’s be honest here,  not all YA’s “Awesome epic wonderful wowza!”, but the one’s that are make reading all the effort worth it.


 ***

So you all may be wondering why the sudden declaration of my love for YA. Simple really (and exciting too!) Beth Revis is holding this contest for a whole library of YA books... and though it's US only, a friend of mine's kindly agreed to help me out on that end... so I signed up! You guys should as well. Check it out @